Justice League Dark, the next installment in the popular, ongoing line of DC Universe Original Movies, is now available everywhere from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-ray Deluxe Giftset, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD. The Blu-ray Combo Pack comes with a Constantine figure, exactly as he appears in the film.
ToonBarn’s Marc Morrell was on the red carpet for the pre-screening interviews with cast and crew, including Matt Ryan (voice of Constantine), Enrico Colantoni (voice of Felix Faust), supervising producer James Tucker, director Jay Oliva and lead character designer Phil Bourassa.
After you check out the interviews, continue reading the story below to see our review of Justice League Dark.
Here is the basic synopsis for Justice League Dark:
When innocent civilians begin committing unthinkable crimes across Metropolis, Gotham City and beyond, Batman must call upon mystical counterparts to eradicate this demonic threat to the planet. Enter Justice League Dark, reluctantly led by the Hellblazer himself, John Constantine. Like Batman, Constantine is a cunning, often cynical loner who is the best at his chosen profession – but quickly realizes the sinister forces plaguing the planet will require help from other supernatural alliances. Forming a new “league” with sorceress Zatanna, otherworldly Deadman, and Jason Blood and his powerful alter ego Etrigan the Demon, this team of Dark Arts specialists must unravel the mystery of Earth’s supernatural plague and contend with the rising, powerful villainous forces behind the siege – before it’s too late for all of mankind.
Please be advised: there are some spoilers in this review, so go buy the Blu-ray, watch it, and come back here to see if your opinion matches ours.
The action starts off quick at the beginning, and so does the Rated-R tone of the film, as we see the “unthinkable crimes” committed by innocent civilians, who were tricked into thinking what they were seeing were demons. The Justice League sees a pattern happening all over the world, and determine that a paranormal threat may be in play. As Batman gets a visit from Deadman, hinting that he needs to contact John Constantine, he approaches Zatanna, to help him find Constantine. They eventually reach him at the House of Mystery, and convince Constantine to lead this new Justice League Dark team to find who’s responsible for all the deadly crimes… and stop them.
By the way, this R-rating that was given to Justice League Dark should not keep teenagers who are accustomed to gore and violence in their video games from enjoying this film. The adult language is very tame, and there are no sexual innuendos of any kind.
The action and pacing of the show are fluid, as there is not a single time during the movie that it felt slow or rushed. And each time the Justice League Dark team comes to another step towards their final battle, there are horror themes, and as Director Jay Oliva spoke about during the Q & A after the screening, elements of inspiration from Harry Potter and Full Metal Alchemist woven in as a guilty pleasure.
It’s no secret that Matt Ryan is the perfect Constantine, from his 13-episode Live-Action TV Season, to his Arrow Season 4 appearance, to this movie, and the soon-to-be-popular CW Seed animated series, which will be about a 5-6 episode series, each episode 10 minutes in length. We can’t wait to see more of Constantine!
What is a surprise is how Enrico Colantoni’s performance of Felix Faust actually changed how the character was animated, from the original plans that Producer James Tucker and Character Designer Phil Bourassa had in mind in the beginning.
Of course, the real show-stealer was the deadly crap monster that emerged from a hospital toilet, where many orderlies paid the ultimate price, and Batman had to use his extreme cunning and ability to think on the fly to slow it down, until Constantine and Zatanna could emerge, in the nick of time, to finish it off. Let the puns flow, people.
Of course, we also saw other strong characters, like Jason Blood and Etrigan the Demon, Destiny, Swamp Thing, and the House of Mystery in human form. If you’re looking for more from Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and the rest of the Justice League, you won’t find much of them in this film, just mostly at the beginning and near the climax. That’s it. Batman receives the lion’s share of the attention from that squad, but it’s the Justice League Dark team that shines in this one.
We’ll give 3.5 out of 4 stars to a terrific Warner Bros/DC animated film, that is full of supernatural intrigue, horror, suspense, action and some well-placed humor, now and then. Certainly, Batman has to agree that he can’t explain everything with science after seeing all the events from this adventure in Justice League Dark.